Attend a free lecture about UFO Encounters like this from the Elmwood Area at this year’s UFO Days 2022, July 29-31.
“About the same time as George Wheeler’s first sighting, there was a UFO flap in this area – Ellsworth, Plum City, Elmwood, River Falls. That was in the spring of ’75, and people were going out at night in carloads to certain places in this area looking at these things,” said MUFON investigator Dr. Jack Brostrack. “I talked to several people during that time … there were two excellent sightings – Carole Forster, who lives just outside of Elmwood, and Mr. and Mrs. [Gibson] of Plum City. They actually saw a structure.”
The story of Elmwood schoolteacher Carole Forster’s encounter is well-known and told in previous articles. The story of the Plum City UFO is more obscure and has nearly been forgotten. It happened March 14, 1975, the night after high-profile UFO sightings in Mellen and Ashland, WI, and only twelve days after Forster’s frightening encounter. Two young couples snowmobiling in the woods near Plum City encountered a UFO.
The encounter occurred well past dark. Documents indicate it was nearly 10:30 PM when Mr. and Mrs. William Gibson of Plum City and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kitchner of Maiden Rock saw two bright lights coming over a hill and a big red light associated with it. Mrs. Gibson later told the story to Dr. Jack Brostrack, professor of biology at University of Wisconsin-River Falls and MUFON UFO investigator.
The story seems to suggest they first saw the lights approaching from above tree level in a rural wooded area where they were snowmobiling. Gibson said they initially assumed they were seeing lights from a road in the distance; they thought the approaching lights belonged to a car coming over a hill. Then they realized there was no road in that direction. Meantime, the lights kept drawing closer. Finally, an object came into view. It came down, Gibson said, almost to treetop level and just hovered there.
The sudden appearance of the otherworldly craft frightened the snowmobilers.
The object had two huge “over-sized” lights in front and a smaller red one toward the back. Brostrack says the witnesses described it as “kind of oval-shaped. They didn’t describe it as being really saucer-shaped. It could have been long and torpedo-shaped, but at least from the side, it was kind of oval.” Mrs. Gibson observed four legs, like landing gear, extending from the underside. The object appeared to be metallic with a surface that reminded of “crinkling up aluminum foil and then stretching it out again.”
She didn’t know who the farmhouse belonged to; she just ran to the front door, on the edge of breaking down into hysterical sobbing.
The sudden appearance of the otherworldly craft frightened the snowmobilers. They returned to their snowmobiles and went in the opposite direction as fast as they could. They stopped at the first farmhouse they came to. Mrs. Gibson panicked. She didn’t know who the farmhouse belonged to; she just ran to the front door, on the edge of breaking down into hysterical sobbing. She told Brostrack that she felt scared to death. Brostrack interviewed both couples, and the Kitchner’s corroborated the story.
It’s a worthy close encounter case on its own, but when correlated with other local cases in the Eau Galle-Chippewa River valleys from around the same time, a pattern emerges. Plum City is about fifteen miles directly south of Elmwood and about twelve miles west of Durand. Arkansaw, WI is between them, on the same road.
In addition to the above closely related local cases, the Plum City incident took place the day after the phenomenal landing case in Mellen, WI and the subsequent sightings in Ashland. Considered in the context of other area encounters from 1975, the Plum City incident fits the profile.
Join us for a discussion of this case and other area sightings at UFO Days 2022 in Elmwood, WI the last weekend in July.